Wed. Aug 17th, 2022

Recently for the first time this season, we have heard whispers of the word “snow” in the forecast. As a child, I loved to play in the snow. I would go sledding with my sisters, have snowball fights with my dad, and just lay outside for hours enjoying the white, fluffy substance around me. It was as if happiness had been captured in every snowflake.
But, like most parents, mine would warn me about the hidden dangers of being in the snow. Truth be told, I think that is probably why I am still in one piece today, and I thank them for their concerns when I was younger. Now that I am in college, I cannot help but wonder: did everyone have parents like mine? Does everyone else on campus know the “do’s” and “do not’s” when it comes to snow safety? For most of us, our parents are not here to tell us what to do, what not to do, how to dress and how not to dress anymore. Certainly, they could call to remind us to “wear layers so you do not catch a cold,” but most parents (I would think) will not even do that.
So, I am here to help! Here are some of the tips my parents have given me throughout my life that have helped me survive the snow so far:
Wear appropriate clothing. Snow boots, snow pants, and thick snow jackets are more practical than Uggs, jeans, and a North Face jacket. Fashion may have to take a backseat to practicality when it comes to the snow.
Wear layers. The more layers you wear, the warmer you will be. The warmer you are, the better chance you have of not getting sick.
Stay dry. If you are soaking wet from laying in the snow for hours, you are most likely going to catch a cold or get pneumonia. Besides, no one likes being cold AND wet.
Avoid hills with trees. If you plan on going sledding down a local hill, make sure there are not any trees; there are many sledding injuries every year resulting from kids sledding into trees.
Don’t throw snowballs at anything other than a person you know. Throwing snowballs at cars can cause motorists to lose control of their cars, which can, in turn, cause an accident. You do not want to be liable for that. Also, the citizens of West Chester and the students of West Chester University probably do not like it when people throw snowballs at their windows, so refrain from that as well.
Take extra precaution crossing the roadways. Snow, slush, and ice can all make driving conditions bad, and not every driver drives safely in the snow. So, make sure you are extra careful crossing the street, because you never know when a driver is going to hit a patch of ice or slide on some slush on the road, causing them to lose control of their vehicle.
Drive safely. If you commute or have a car on campus, drive carefully. The snow, as you may well know, creates difficult driving conditions, so make sure you are careful. An accident is the last thing anyone wants, especially on campus.
Walk in pairs while under the influence. If it snows on a Friday night, and you are at a party on Walnut Street, make sure you leave with another person or a group of people. Alcohol can affect how well (or not so well) your body works, which can make walking in the snow difficult. Having others around you will make it less likely that you will be left alone, lying in the snow somewhere.
And lastly, have fun! Enjoy the snow while it lasts. With all this talk of Global Warming and Greenhouse Gases, it seems possible there may be a time when snow will not fall at all. So, enjoy the snow while it is around!
I hope these tips help everyone else as much as they have helped me over the years!
Ashley Cantasano is a second-year student majoring in Communication Studies. She can be reached at AC784683@wcupa.edu.

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